Viewpoint: Are you ready for a close-up? We will be – as soon as we’ve sorted our wardrobes.

I’ve a new respect for people who take part in televised events. Sitting on the sofa at home watching the box, it all looks so easy: participants chat happily, respond calmly to comments and answer questions.

But let me tell you – when you’re in the sights of a studio camera, complete with hot lights and an audience, it’s nerve-racking.

And the worst of it is deciding what to wear. Continue reading

Meet the author: Rachel Amphlett shares a few of her favourite things

Rachel AmphlettWhat do scampi and chips, black coffee and a good pair of jeans have in common?

They’re just a few of author Rachel Amphlett’s favourite things.

Amphlett, whose new thriller Hell to Pay, the latest in the Detective Kay Hunter series, will be published on November 16, explains here why she loves a good cup of coffee and always makes a beeline for her favourite seafood dinner when she visits the UK.  Continue reading

Review: Springsteen points to land of hopes and dreams in Barbara Quinn’s Valentine to the Jersey shore

Springsteen (2)It’s not often a book comes along where people, place and plot are so intertwined that one doesn’t work without the other.

Or one that demands to be read to crashing drums and flashing lights.

But then if you came home to find your husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman, you’d make a bit of a song and dance about it too.

Especially if you’d only put clean sheets on the bed the day before.  Continue reading

Viewpoint: If you have to ask, ‘Who spends that much on clothes?’ you’re a dummy! Apparently.

Have you ever been described as ‘depressing, judgmental and ignorant’ and then been accused of being a dummy?

Well, actually, you might have. If you saw one of the glossy magazines that came with a particular Sunday newspaper yesterday, you could have looked at the so-called fashion spread where a coat costing nearly £3,000 was featured with matching £1,000 trousers (mentioned but invisible as they’d been cropped out of the photo), and asked: ‘Who spends that kind of money on clothes?’ Continue reading

Meet the authors: behind the scenes as we prepare for a talk at Burley library

Us with early arrivals

Susan (second left) and Sue (fourth left) with early arrivals at Burley library on Saturday.

PG Wodehouse hit the nail on the head: a reporter wants to interview one of his characters in Bachelor’s Anonymous. ‘I hate talking about myself,’ wails the diffident hero.

‘I dare say,’ ripostes the reporter, ‘but you’ve got to when you’re being interviewed.’

Ditto when you’ve agreed to deliver a talk to a group of readers.

And there’s the rub: Susan and I have spent our working lives in the wings, encouraging people to talk to us rather than spouting about ourselves.

It takes a bit of a mental shift to switch from being the person asking the questions to the person giving all the answers. Continue reading

Review: RIP to Helen Cadbury, whose Sean Denton novels are synonymous with Yorkshire

Race to the KillIt’s always a little sad to discover a new author after he or she has died.

Even more sad when the author is just 52 and has only two other books to her name.

Of course, there’s the sympathy one feels as one woman to another one feels for anyone who dies so young.

But, there’s also the rather selfish sorrow that there will be no more stories from a writer whose work has become synonymous with Yorkshire. Continue reading

Cover reveal: There’s hell to pay when DS Kay Hunter hunts a brutal serial killer

Hell to Pay Cover MEDIUM WEB (2)There’s something rather special about this haunting cover for Hell to Pay, the fourth in the detective Kay Hunter series by Rachel Amphlett.

Described as a gripping fast-paced crime thriller, Hell to Pay will be published by Saxon Publishing on November 16.

About the book

When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women. Continue reading

Review: What happens when your daughter keeps too many secrets?

The DaughterReaders who have watched the TV show Long Lost Family will be familiar with the moment when separated family members are finally brought face-to-face.

There’s one such moment in Billy McLaughlin’s new crime mystery The Daughter where Kate, partner of the novel’s main protagonist Detective Inspector Phil Morris, knocks on the door of her long lost father.

According to the television script they should fall into each other’s arms amid floods of tears and mutual outpourings of love and affection. Continue reading

Cover reveal: Springsteen, summer and learning to heal and start over

Springsteen (2)Looking forward to reading The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me by award-winning writer Barbara Quinn, which will be published by Lakewater Press on October 24.

In the meantime, I love this evocative cover which hints at the challenges we all face in learning to accept the past and embrace the future.

And, if you’d like a chance to win a free copy of the book, click here.

Or pre-order for 99c here.

About the book:

Coming home to catch her husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman is the last thing Sofia Continue reading